The 8 Best Heart Rate Apps of 2021

You can now check your heart rate using only your smartphone and an app

While many smartwatches and fitness trackers can check your heart rate, it's now possible to monitor your heartbeat using just a smartphone or tablet and a special app.

No additional hardware is required when using one of these iOS, Android, and Windows apps as they use the device's pre-existing camera and lights to detect a heartbeat by scanning the user's finger or face and measuring blood flow. It may sound strange, but it actually works and is fairly reliable for getting a quick estimate of your average heart rate.

While these apps do work, they shouldn't be treated as an alternative to a visit to a medical professional and shouldn't be used when making serious decisions about diet, lifestyle, or medication.

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Best Free Heart Rate App for Android: Accurate Heart Rate Monitor

Accurate Heart Rate Monitor on Android.
What We Like
  • App is completely free with no ads or limitations.

  • All data can be exported as a CSV file.

What We Don't Like
  • Readings can be difficult on cheaper Android tablets with low quality cameras.

  • Data can't be imported to Fitbit and other similar fitness apps.

Accurate Heart Rate Monitor is a free app for Android smartphones and tablets that can measure your heart rate by using your device's camera. All you have to do is place your finger over the camera lens, activate the scanning from within the app, and within seconds your heart rate will be detected and displayed.

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Best Free Heart Rate App for iPhone: Cardiio

Cardiio heart rate app on iPhone.

 Cardiio Inc

What We Like
  • Support for Apple Health is a fantastic feature to have.

  • Choice of face or finger mode for reading a heart rate.

What We Don't Like
  • The app UI looks a little outdated and isn't pleasing to look at.

  • The bonus built-in workouts cost between two and 10 dollars to unlock.

Cardiio is a free heart rate app that works on Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Like Accurate Heart Rate Monitor, Cardiio can also measure your heart rate when you place a finger over the camera's lens but it can also read your heart rate by scanning your face with the front-facing, selfie, camera.

All data in Cardiio is displayed in easy-to-understand charts and everything syncs to the Apple Health app which will benefit those who have fully embraced Apple's numerous services.

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Best Heartbeat App for Pregnant Moms: My Baby's Beat

My Baby's Beat heart rate app on iPhone.


What We Like
  • A rather ingenious way for mothers to connect with their unborn child.

  • Very easy to record and play back sound files.

What We Don't Like
  • My Baby's Beat doesn't work on the iPod touch.

  • The red color scheme of the app is a little creepy.

My Baby's Beat is a heart rate app that works on Apple's iPhones and iPads that's designed to detect the heartbeat of a baby while in the womb. The app works by using the iOS device's built-in microphone which is placed on the mother's stomach. The baby's heartbeat is then recorded and saved within the app and the audio file can be shared via email or social media.

It should be noted that this app is only recommended for babies that are older than 30 weeks and is designed to be more of a bonding tool than an approved method of detecting serious health conditions.

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Best Pulse Reading App for Families: Cardiograph Classic

Cardiograph Heart Rate Monitor app on Android.


What We Like
What We Don't Like
  • No support for Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 tablets.

  • App is free on Windows phones and Android but costs $0.99 on iOS.

Cardiograph Classic is a solid app for checking heart rate on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone that uses the smartphone's camera to detect the user's heart rate and displays data in clean, easy-to-read, read and white charts.

All of the recorded data is saved to the app and can be sorted by numerical values and by time and date. What sets Cardiograph apart from similar apps is its support for multiple user profiles which allows several people to save their heart rate information to their own unique local profiles.

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Simplest Heart Rate App: Heart Rate Plus

Heart Rate Plus app on Android.


What We Like
  • The reminder feature is a great idea for such an app.

  • Supports Google Fit and Apple Health.

What We Don't Like
  • No support for older Apple devices running an OS below iOS 8.

  • The dark color scheme won't appeal to everyone.

Heart Rate Plus is a well-made app for measuring your heart rate and is available on iOS and Android devices. The app features a very clean design that's easy to use and won't confuse those who often get overwhelmed with complex app menus and options.

Heart Rate Plus syncs data to both Google Fit on Android and Apple Health on iOS which allows the information gathered here to be accessed in other apps. It also offers unlimited data storage for free users which means you can use this app to track your heart rate well into the future.

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Best Heartbeat App: Instant Heart Rate

Instant Heart Rate app on iPhone.
What We Like
  • Android version supports Google Fit. iOS version can sync to Apple Health.

  • Available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

What We Don't Like
  • Additional fitness information and programs require a monthly $9.99 Premium membership.

  • The iOS version only works on devices with iOS 11 and up.

Azumio's Instant Heart Rate is by far one of the best apps for measuring and keeping track of your heart rate. The app is available on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets in addition to Microsoft's Windows Phones.

Instant Heart Rate uses the camera method for detecting a heartbeat and all data is rendered in a variety of charts that can be broken down by time and the activity being performed when they were taken. All information can also be exported for viewing on other devices or for sharing.

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Most-Stylish Heart Rate Measuring App: Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Rate Monitor on Android.


What We Like
  • Calorie burn information sets this app apart from others.

  • Large font size makes text easier to read.

What We Don't Like
  • Pink design may deter some users.

  • Limited export options however it does support Google Fit.

Despite its rather generic name, Heart Rate Monitor, features one of the better-looking interfaces compared to its many rivals. The pink and black graphics make the app significantly more engaging while the large font size will appeal to elder users and those who have trouble reading smaller text.

Heart Rate Monitor records your heart rate with your Android smartphone or tablet's camera and categorizes it within one of several zones such as Rest, Fat Burn, and Peak. These extra labels allow you to view a daily average of your heart rate with the added context of what you were doing when each measurement was taken.

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Best App You May Already Have: Google Fit

GoogleFit Logo

What We Like
  • Many users are familiar with the app.

  • Measure heart rate and respiration with front and rear cameras.

  • Heart rate measurement is accurate to 2 percent.

What We Don't Like
  • Heart rate and breathing measurements work only on some Android phones.

In 2021, Google began rolling out a Google Fit update with new features that measure heart rate and respiration using the front and rear cameras of supported Android devices.

Check your heart rate by placing a fingertip over the rear camera, which analyzes your skin and returns a pulse reading. Check your respiration by positioning your torso in front of the front-facing camera. Google Fit analyzes your chest movements to determine your breaths per minute.

While these readings don't offer the constant metrics a wearable provides, they're a helpful tool for keeping tabs on your health.

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